Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Toes!

I'm going out on a limb here and showing my awful, hairy man-feet.  My poor feet have been through a left foot is all messed up because I stepped on glass and ended up with two severed tendons, then had surgery to remove a Morton's Neuroma (a very badly inflamed nerve) and decompress another nerve...and now it has two bunions that will require another surgery in the future.  I have to admit that I have a slight aversion to feet, and when I started my nail tech classes, swore that I AIN'T TOUCHING NOBODY'S ICKY FEET!  (pardon the double negative) I am, doing my clinic work at school and y'know what?  I really do enjoy doing pedicures.  I admit to not taking care of my feet like I should; the cuticles are enough to make any nail tech cry, and there are dry places from where I used to do a LOT of Israeli dance.  I loved dancing barefoot, but it sure came with a price.

So today I wanted to do some nail art on my tootsies.  I asked for help in my Facebook group, and the general consensus was to use red and gold, to get into the holiday spirit.  I took it up a notch and did white, red, and green.  I used Orly Bond base coat, CG white on white, CG White Cap, OPI Animal-istic, and Orly Meet Me Under the Mistletoe.  I added a French tip with my gold holographic glitter polish from Claire's.

Here is the result! (ignore the icky scar from surgery)

10-Day Challenge Day 10: Recreate Your Favorite

I can't believe it's already the last day of the challenge!  This has been a blast for me and is not only my first nail art challenge, but my first successful one too.  I really didn't know if I'd be able to make it to the end, because I honestly don't have much faith in my nail art abilities.  Even if I do something awesome, like my LoTR nails, I still don't feel satisfied.  I guess artists really ARE their own worst critics!

I didn't choose any of my manis because I wanted this honor to go to one of the other challenge participants.  From the moment I saw this, I KNEW it would be my mani for Day 10.  It's awesome, it's SPARKLY, and best of all, the colors are the same as my HS colors.  Go Radford Bobcats!  If I had known how to do this back in HS, I would have worn this mani for every game I cheered at.  I loved our cheerleading uniforms, especially the sweater ones, but our pom-poms were more black, white, and yellow than black, white and gold.  I miss those days, but I don't miss freezing my nose off in the chilly mountain weather! 

So here is the inspiration:

I SO want Zoya Storm...after Butter London Disco Biscuit, this one is a BIG lemming for me.  It's not only black, but SPARKLES too?!?  Yes please!  At some point in the future, I hope to have Shea do a guest post or few for this blog.  This lady has some serious skills!

I started with a base coat of CG Strong Adhesion Base Coat, used Finger Paints Black Expressionism, Nina Pro Big Spender and sponged my Claire's holographic gold glitter over it, and used CG White on White and FP Black Expressionism for the dots, with Big Spender as the final touch.  I took pictures before using the top coat, because it loves to streak my nail art, even if it has been drying for forty-five stinkin' minutes.

The lineup:

 And here are the results!

And that's it for Day 10!  Please don't forget to check out what the other awesomely talented participants have done, and be sure to show them lots of love!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

10-Day Challenge Day 9: Water Marble

I have only done one successful water marble, ever.  Last year I tried, and tried, and TRIED, and got so frustrated I swore I'd never try again.  This past July, I got a wild hair and decided to try water marbling again, with a beautiful result.  When this day of the challenge came up, I was more than tempted to just use the pictures from July, but that would be cheating.

Here is a picture of the very first water marble, using Orly Haley's Comet and China Glaze White Cap:

It doesn't look anything at all like what I see on so many pictures, but that's the way I like it.  I had fun with this, but cleanup was a pain thanks to how shimmery the polish was, which meant I had shimmery bits all over my cuticles.  I had used tape to cover the cuticle area, but some polish still got on my skin.

This time I used petroleum jelly all over my finger, up to the first knuckle.  It made cleanup so much easier and didn't take as much time as applying tape to my fingers took.  For today's water marble, I used OPI Live And Let Die from the Skyfall collection, Nina Big Spender, and my e.l.f. gold glitter over top.  Orly Bond was used for base coat, and Jordana fast dry topcoat sealed the deal.

Here's the lineup:

And here is the mani:

Don't forget to check out the other lovely participants in the challenge!  Have a terrific weekend :-)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10-Day Challenge Day 8: Gradient Nails

I am TERRIBLE at gradient nails. For some reason, they just don't want to work for me. When I did my Rainbow Dash nails, I had the brilliant idea to just paint the lines on a makeup sponge and do a rainbow gradient that way...and it WORKED. I don't know why I haven't stayed with that tried-and-true method. I attempted the rainbow gradient yesterday, but used a different sponging technique. Fail. It looked less gradient and more stripey, so I chucked the mani. After ten attempts at gradients, I finally settled on one that actually worked for me. To my surprise, it was the one gradient from four randomly selected polishes, and is PINK. I'm not a big wearer of girly pinks, I'm more of a neon/hot pink person, but I actually like this. I used China Glaze Strong Adhesion base coat, Nail Savvy In The Pink, China Glaze Whitecap, an e.l.f. gold glitter (doesn't have the polish name on it), and Rainbow Honey Pinkie Promise.

I sponged In The Pink on my nails rather than use the brush, because this is a polish that takes FOREVER to dry.  I followed with the e.l.f. gold glitter, sponging that on in the middle of the finger.  Then I sponged White Cap at the top of the nail, and finally sponged Pinkie Promise from the free edge to the middle of the finger.  I did another sponging of the gold glitter at the top so I could have the small gold holo hexes showing up.  Two coats of fast dry top coat sealed the deal.

Whew, that's a lot of pictures!  I've been trying to come up with ideas for "hand poses" and will hopefully be building my first light box soon.  There's an Olympus camera I have my eyes on that has a macro filter.  I'd love to be able to take macro shots of my nail art and polishes. 

Be sure to check out what the other fantastic ladies have done for Day 8!  I can't believe this challenge is almost over, it's been such a blast and I've loved seeing what the others have done.  Have an excellent Thanksgiving and don't eat TOO much turkey!

Monday, November 19, 2012

10-Day Challenge Day 7: Lines and Stripes

Today's theme for the challenge is "lines and stripes".  I've done striping tape manicures before, but since it takes time and I'm wacky from Vicodin, I decided to go against my norm and use my striping brushes instead.  Because my nasal turbinates were reduced, my nose is bleeding so I have to be careful not to lean my head forward too much.  I hope this is the ONLY sinus surgery I will ever need, because it sucks having the feeling that I have a sinus infection.  It turns out that one of the cysts in my sinuses, on the right side, was too tiny and too close to a nerve to be safely removed.  There was the potential for nerve damage had it been taken out.  The worst thing for me in all this?  I finally got my nose pierced last year, and the darn thing has already closed up!  I can't even see a scar from it, so this means I'll have to get it done again.  It's worth it, because I loved that piercing.

Anyway, on to the manicure!  I used one coat of this GORGEOUS bright red, no-name polish that came in a gift bag from a friend, followed by a coat of this lovely sparkly red E.L.F. polish.  I then used my Stripe Right stripers in white and black to create a plaid-ish design.  After I was done, I could see areas that are not the best looking, but I'm too tired and in pain to even care now!  This challenge has been a blast to do, it's caused me to step outside my nail art "comfort zone" and do manicures that I've admired, but never thought of doing myself. 

So without further ado, here are my Day 7 stripes and lines nails!

Not the best, like I said, but I really do like it.  I'm not a red-polish wearing gal, but this works for me mostly because of the plaid-ish pattern.

Now go check out what the other ladies in the challenge have done!  I am consistently blown away by their talent and creativity.  Be sure to give them some love!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

10-Day Challenge Day 6: Inspired by Another's Nails

Today's art is inspired by a GORGEOUS mani from Day One of the challenge.  I was totally blown away by all the beautiful rainbow manicures out there, but one in particular stood out to me.  The accent nail was so shimmery and looked just like stained glass, so I decided to do a stained glass manicure for today.

Here is the original from Shea Langlois Caithaml of OMG Wait What Polish Is That?:

FREAKING GORGEOUS!  I love love LOVE that accent nail!

I'm hoping my sinus surgery goes well tomorrow so I can continue doing this challenge.  There's only five days left and so much more nail art to do!

Here are the pictures, enjoy!

Don't forget to check out the other wonderful artists!  I'm so excited to see what they have come up with for today's challenge =^-^=

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

10-Day Challenge Day 5: Half Moons

Yay!  Past the "delicate" print day, and on to something I've never tried before: half moon nails.  I've admired them from afar and have cringed at the new names they've been given.  Why?  Because in the 30's and 40's, only the middle part of the nail was painted, leaving the lunula (half moon at the base of the nail) and the free edge bare.  I love how it was done in reds, dark browns, and even coral.  I tried this style on my own nails once, but didn't like it.  I like to keep my nails in a square shape, and this old-fashioned type of manicure looks great on oval nails.

I recently bought two new polishes: Taxi by Pure Ice, and Grey-t to Be Here by Essence.  Taxi is a GORGEOUS purple and gold duochrome polish and only required two coats to eliminate VNL for me.  GTBH is a beautiful gray creme polish with a lovely pink shimmer to it.  I picked it up because I needed a gray polish and was so delighted to see the shimmer in it.  I knew as soon as I picked these two up that I would use them in today's challenge manicure.

I began by freehanding a half-moon shape with a white striping brush, then painted the line and under with Taxi.  I filled in the half-moon area with Gray-t to Be Here, and added some rhinestones for extra oomph.  I was inspired by vintage jewelry, which is a BIG weakness for me.  I picked up this gorgeous vintage necklace at a thrift store just because it reminded me of what Marilyn Monroe wore in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  Ohhh the dresses of the 40's and 50's!  If I had it my way, my closet would be FULL of replicas of the ballgowns and everyday dresses the women wore.

So here is my vintage-inspired half-moon manicure.  Enjoy!

Don't forget to check out what all the other lovely participants have for Day 5.  I was totally blown away by all the gorgeous delicate print manis I saw.  So gorgeous, all of them!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

10-Day Challenge Day Four: Delicate Nails

I will start this post off by admitting that I. CHEATED. on this mani.  I tried and tried and just can't do a delicate manicure using freehand, so I went for my nail decals.  I tried using my stamping plate, but it all hates me right now, so decals it had to be.

I love roses, and to me, French manicures alone are delicate, so I decided to combine the two.

I used one coat of OPI Barre My Soul, one coat of a nameless polish given to me in a gift set, and white rose decal stickers to mimic a French menicure.  I did this before I found out I had two services at school today, and just now noticed my jacked-up ring finger.  Oh well :(

On with the pictures!

Sorry the last one is a bit blurry...I'm wiped out from today.  I have a stress fracture in my foot and lugging around a big boot is a bit more than I can handle.  I'm perfecting my zombie walk, at least.

Come check out the other ladies participating in the challenge!  I can't wait to see what gorgeous manis they come up with ^_^.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

OPI Live and Let Die

I went to Cosmo Prof today in search of a new polish color.  Yesterday I did my first spa pedicure and, to my excited surprise, the customer was very happy with my service.  I got a tip, and decided to get new polish.  I was debating between Winter Holly (China Glaze) and a Venique glitter, when, as I stood in line, I happened to look down and saw an OPI stand.  Back went the CG and Venique, and I headed to grab some Danke-Shiny Red.  Oh no.  I looked up and saw the OPI Skyfall collection, put Danke-Shiny Red back (for the THIRD TIME, no less!), and grabbed In Her Majesty's Secret Service and Live and Let Die.  Obviously, from the post's title, I chose Live and Let Die.  To me, this is such an awesome and unique color.  I loved the green-blue color, and the lovely green and gold-ish flecks in the polish.  It's a dark color and absolutely perfect for fall.  I really stepped out of my brightly-colored zone for this polish, and am so happy I did.  Here's why:

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this polish.  So much, I didn't even do an accent nail, and that's unusual for me!  This one's a total keeper.

So what do you think of this polish shade?  Do you have any of the Skyfall collection?  Let me know, and have a terrific night!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

10-Day Challenge Day Three: Inspired By A Tutorial

Hello and welcome to the third installment of Erica's Nails and More 10-Day nail art challenge!  Today's theme is "inspired by a tutorial".  I went through many tutorials until I came to IHaveACupcake...a nail artist after my own heart!  I loved her Bleach tutorial, so I took from it.  For those of you who don't know, Bleach is a really awesome anime.  I love anime.  I'm a total nerd when it comes to anime and manga, spazzing out when I get to meet my favorite voice actors.  I have more artwork and figures than is probably good for me, but, like nail polish, I say more is better!

Here is the video tutorial:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src=";hl=en_US" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Isn't she AMAZING?

And here is my attempt:

I actually had a lot of fun with this.  I like art that challenges me, and since I don't have any good detail brushes or acrylic paints, I used striper brushes and my Stripe Rite in black and white as well as my dotting tool.  I really like this, it's going to stay on my nails until Day Four of the challenge approaches.  That's saying something, because normally a manicure lasts two days at the max!

Don't forget to stop by and check out the other participants!  I loved all their polka dot manicures, and when the "recreate your fave" comes up, I have a feeling I'll have a hard time choosing one from amongst them all!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

10-Day Challenge Day Two: Polka Dots

I had the worst time with this mani. I think polka dots are really cute, but whenever I try to put them on my nails...well, I end up frustrated and annoyed. Somehow, I just haven't gotten the hang of placing even-sized dots in a straight line. I have tried and tried, but the technique eludes me. I guess one day it will just come to me and then I'll have tons of polka-dotted fun. I did a Google search on polka dot nails, looking for something unique and interesting. I tried a couple things that were floating around in my creative cranial space, but they didn't pan out. Finally I found something awesome: gradient polka dots! Now, my mani comes nowhere NEAR the awesomeness I found online, but I like it and it will do. Besides, I didn't have to do a nice, even line, which was great! The only downside was that I managed to mess up my thumb TWICE, and my pinky once. I indulged myself and watched Sense and Sensibility while doing this mani. I love Jane Austen's novels and my copy of S&S is VERY worn. It helped put me in the mood to do this manicure. I used an Orly base coat, Sally Hansen Lacey Lilac for the light purple, and an awesome holo purple from Funky Fingers (THANK YOU 5 Below!), OPI Meep Meep Meep for the roses, and a watermelon-scented green polish from Claire's. China Glaze Fast Forward top coat sealed the deal.

I had to have an accent nail, so I went with roses.  I wanted to try my hand at these, because I have seen some really pretty manicures with stripes and roses.  They always remind me of antique wallpaper.  The bottle I'm holding is my absolute favorite perfume: Princess Night by Vera Wang.  Princess made me itch like crazy when it touched my skin, so I only sprayed it on my clothes.  Princess Night doesn't cause that same reaction, thankfully.  It smells nice and sweet, plus the bottle is sparkly AND my favorite (non)color.

Here's a closeup of my accent nail, and a closeup of my manicure.

Be sure to check out the fab works from all the other participants in the challenge!  I took a peek at their rainbow manis, and these ladies are TALENTED!  I feel honored to be part of such an amazing and creative group of polish addicts like myself.  Go show them some love!